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Zoo, Airport Install Solar EV Charging Stations

Linda Hardesty

In Bologna, Italy, the Guglielmo Marconi airport activated a new EV charging station powered by solar energy.

And the San Diego Zoo installed a 90-kW solar photovoltaic canopy that directly charges electric vehicles (EVs) in the zoo’s parking lot.

The San Diego Zoo project incorporates 10 solar canopies producing 90 kW of electricity, as well as five EV charging stations, with one station located in a nearby ADA-accessible parking space.

Using new battery technology, a 100-kW energy storage system is charged by the solar canopies and used to offset power demands on the grid to charge the vehicles. When the battery is full, the excess solar energy is put onto the electric grid. The solar canopies also provide shade to approximately 50 cars in the zoo’s southeast parking area.

The Smart City San Diego Solar-to-EV Project is a collaboration between San Diego Gas & Electric, City of San Diego, GE, UC San Diego and CleanTech San Diego to drive projects that improve the region’s energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the Solar-to-EV project is part of the City of San Diego’s efforts to usher in sustainable solutions for Balboa Park in anticipation of the park’s 2015 Centennial Celebration.

At the Guglielmo Marconi airport, the new “Elettra” EV charging station is powered with energy from PV modules. The solar charging station in the parking lot gives passengers the chance to recharge electric vehicles for free during their stay at the airport.

The Elettra EV equipment, manufactured by the Italian company Giulio Barbieri, is equipped with storage batteries placed on top of an upper beam of the structure. The station can offer one or two charging points for a maximal power output of 3.5 kW. The station has been designed to ensure an around-the-clock energy supply, even in case of bad weather – if needed, users get automatically connected to the local electrical grid.

Giulio Barbieri counts among its customers: an EV charging station for Baka Communications; the 400 kW solar carport for the Swiss electric utility company S.I.G.; the solar EV charging stations for the public administrations of Paris Osnabrück and Helsingborg; and the solar station for the electric bikes at the European Commission.



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